Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Online Ed Tech sites

I took some time to check out online educational discussion sites this week.  I can see where they can be of great benefit to educators in that there is a variety of information that can be offered and discussed in the online forums.  I admit that sharing the opinions and experiences of others can be a great way to expand your viewpoints on handling different aspects of being a teacher.  That being said, however, I think there might be other ways to achieve that goal.  I found the sites to be chaotic.  There were so many comments and opinions being offered simultaneously that I was overwhelmed.  The conversations, while being beneficial, were often tangential and those involved assumed that everyone shared similar insights about those being mentioned.  It is necessary to be able to pick through those conversations and determine what would be useful in my own classroom.  I am not sure that this would be a venue in which I would be comfortable gathering my insights.

Specially I reviewed http://www.edtechtalk.com/node/4899, which was a conversation regarding teachable moments.  In fact that was the name of the conversation -- Conversation 89:  Teachable Moments.  This was not a live talk because I, unfortunately, could not make it at the time it was live.  I began my review by reading the transcript, which was very confusing since all comments appeared as they were entered and the conversation moved from topic to topic without clear transitions.  After completing the transcript I went back and listened to the audio.  Combing both made more sense and I garnered much more from this approach.  There were so many great insights about teachable moments and it reminded me about how often they happen and how easily they can slip by causing us to miss the opportunities to teach students about real-life issues.  I am not sure that I could have participated in this conversation and gleaned as much from it if I had done so live. 

To be sure that I was not judging such venues too quickly, I also reviewed Kicking It Up A Notch - Intersections by Darren Kuropatwa.  Much of what he discussed made a lot of sense.  The concepts I grasp and give much credance to.  There are lots of intersections in what and how we teach and being able to recognize those and utilize them to better in our instruction is a greal goal.  He gave great examples of these intersections but, again, the overall discussion seemed tangential to me.   View for yourself...here is the link. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter, in general

I think snowshoeing would be fun.  I am not a fan of the cold, though.  Here in New England we need to embrace the winter months and learn to have a plan for getting through them that does not always involve sitting on the couch and hibernating.  I think snowshoeing would be fun!  Some day I will try it.  Today I am pacing from window to window admiring the different snow-covered venues.  I love it when the snow covers the branches and each window offers a picture-perfect postcard view.  Ahhh...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Finally Friday

At the end of a snowy week it is great to be sitting home and enjoying a quiet evening.  I just completed school financial planning for next year and am hopeful that both me and my elder daughter will be blessed with continued support.  It would be great to see something other than loans but I suppose we must be grateful for any support. 


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Digital Nation

I just finished watching the Digital Nation show from Frontline.  It certainly offered a great deal of information and opinion to consider.  Most of the information is common knowledge including the need for us as teachers to embrace technology and learn new and better ways to utilize it in our classrooms.  I was surprised to see the extent that some users (the younger generation) rely on their connections technically.  I am from the Generation X and have grown up somewhat with the techology but my connections are not as involved as the younger generation.  I found the Feed Me Bubbe section refreshing and amusing.  There are some of the older generation who still need the stimulation technological connections can offer.  :) 

It is interesting the differences in perception between the students and the teachers whereas the teachers see the students as suffering from an inability to have a single thought stream and the students perceive themselves as being much more efficient than the teachers and the teachers as being out of touch, boring, and somewhat incompetent.  I was deeply troubled by the concept of drone fighter pilots actually attacking sites in the war zones.  The concept of life-like situations being so game oriented raises concerns about where we are going as a society. 

About me...

I am getting older by the minute but am not too old to realize that every minute counts.  I have a wonderful family who happily sent me back to school recently to get my Masters in Special Education.   I have a husband (22 years) and two girls, 19 and 16.  I also have a big, fluffy Collita (combination collie and akita) who is my biggest fan.  I have two cats who help me to appreciate the diversity that exists in personalities and two birds who remind me to stop and listen to the music once in a while.  Now, back to homework...

Second time...

Hey.  This blogging thing must get easier with practice.  KISS, right?!